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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insiders view of the England football team 1958 to 1970
Although this is the second part of Bobby Charltons autobiography, it would be more accurate to think of it as being Bobby Charltons biography of the England football team from 1958, when he made his debut, to 1970, when he played his final England game, in the cruel defeat to West Germany in the Mexico World Cup.

As most of his autobiographical details were...
Published on 7 Nov. 2008 by Bantam Dave

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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting from a neutral's point of view
I was 8 years old when England won the World Cup and it is my life long dream to see them do it one more time before I shuttle off this earth! As a history of the England era of my youth this was an intersting read. I would not say it kept me riveted but I enjoyed and it brought back the memories of all those players I would watch in my youth. Yes there are constant...
Published on 3 Oct. 2010 by Eric the Red


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insiders view of the England football team 1958 to 1970, 7 Nov. 2008
By 
Bantam Dave (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Although this is the second part of Bobby Charltons autobiography, it would be more accurate to think of it as being Bobby Charltons biography of the England football team from 1958, when he made his debut, to 1970, when he played his final England game, in the cruel defeat to West Germany in the Mexico World Cup.

As most of his autobiographical details were dealt with in the first book, the Manchester United Years, this book is almost totally devoted to football and there is very little of Bobby Charlton the man (as opposed to Bobby Charlton the footballer) in it. This is not meant as a critism because, like the first one, this is an excellent book.

It is largely forgotten now but fifty years ago the England football team was in a bit of the mess. At one stage - between 1958 & 1959 - they only won one game in eleven, and that was against an extremely weak USA team. As this book explains, the then manager, Walter Winterbottom, tried his best to build a winning team but he had an impossible task because in those days the England manager had very limited powers, having to refer most things, even team selection, to an FA committee. It was only after the arrival of the single-minded Alf Ramsey, in 1963, that things started to change for the better.

Being an integral part of Ramseys team (even if Sir Alf made sure that Charlton was aware that not even his place in the team was guaranteed)Bobby Charlton was well placed to cast judgement on his role in turning England into World Champions in 1966. He explains that to win the World Cup, Ramsey built a team containing not the eleven best English players but instead the eleven players who one do the best job as a TEAM. This is why the free scoring Jimmy Greaves did not play in the World Cup Final but instead the lesser talented Geoff Hurst did.

Although, quite rightly, the bulk of the book is about the 1966 World Cup and the build up towards it, Bobby Charltons two other World Cup campaigns, in 1962 & 1970, are well covered. The story of Englands quarter final defeat to West Germany after being two goals up and coasting is particuarly absorbing reading as there were many interesting side stories - Franz Beckenbauers marking job on Charlton, Gordon Banks's bad stomach, Englands capitulation after Charlton was substituted, Bobby Moore being accused of theft - involved.

A very good book, and together with 'The Manchester United Years' surely amongst the best fooball autobiographies ever written.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Sequel, 10 Nov. 2008
The original "United Years" did not leave much to be desired as an extraordinary account of the life an extraordinary man. However, the "England Years" proved to be just as compelling and interesting, the book provides the fascinating insight of a hugely influential player on a volatile period of English football and really shouldn't be missed. A great read for any sports fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have 2-part autobiography for any serious sports fan, 15 Nov. 2008
Nothing annoys me more than sports men and women writing their autobiography's after some brief initial success before disappearing into the abyss of the unsustainables...... Bobby Charlton 'scores' again firstly by employing an award winning ghost writer making the reading a real pleasure but also by having enough great stories to tell having had long and eventful sporting life. This book, as the cover suggests, chronicles Mr. Charlton's England career. The book is also not without humour and without spoiling it for you, his first confrontation with Pele is laugh out loud funny!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well rendered telling of England's glory years, 4 Jan. 2009
By 
Jim (Blackheath, London, UK) - See all my reviews
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A year after the publication of Bobby Charlton's outstanding `My Manchester United Years' comes volume two - concerning his England career, which spanned 106 caps and an unprecedented four World Cup Finals.

No living player is better qualified to write about their experiences with England than Charlton, whose time in an England shirt spanned from the monochrome era of Tom Finney to that of Peter Shilton (whom even I, a thirty year old, recall as an England player).

The problem with it, particularly in the pre-Ramsey years, is that too little material is stretched out. Most other players combine their club and international volumes into a single volume. The length of Charlton's England career allows him to do two books - but in the context of a player's career, 106 games is the equivalent of a couple of seasons. It would be a bit like David Beckham writing `My LA Galaxy Years' in forty years time.

There is also a sense that he plays up to his status as the grand old man of English football. And who could blame him? He has, after all, won everything there is to be won in a career marked with courage, dignity and distinction. But the tone can seem fogeyish and at worst rambling, inane, and not true to Bobby Charlton's voice. After all, could you imagine him saying the following passage?

"Perhaps he decided that in this new world of football, of changing formations and the clearest evidence that in terms of ball skills and tactical subtleties many rival nations had passed us by, we need, as another embattled public figure, Prime Minister John Major, would later say `to get back to basics'."

Fortunately, most of the rest of the book isn't as horribly written as this, and by the time Alf Ramsey comes on board this volume hits full pace. The insights into the imperceptible Ramsey are compelling and better dealt with than by the likes of Alan Ball and Nobby Stiles in recent years. Charlton is particularly good on the routines and intensely close camp in the run up to the 1966 World Cup. He makes clear the debt of gratitude that the nation owes Alf Ramsey and he was surprisingly accepting of the way in which he was dropped by him after the 1970 World Cup.

Criticisms, however, tend to be oblique. I was surprised that there wasn't greater anger at the disgusting way Alf Ramsey and Bobby Moore were latterly treated by the FA. Perhaps he doesn't want to upset friends in high places? On the other hand, Peter Bonetti is singled out (albeit in Sir Bobby's roundabout way) for the defeat to West Germany in 1970.

In sum this is a decent companion to Sir Bobby's first volume of memoirs, even if it is slow to get going and, particularly in the early pages, there is a sense that his publishers are milking him for everything. Perhaps it fails by comparison to volume one, which was one of the best sporting memoirs of recent years. On its own merits, however, this is often a compelling story, generally well told if not sometimes eccentrically structured and strangely written - but it beats hands down any one of the turgid offerings by the current crop of underperforming England stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More England than Bobby, 21 Nov. 2008
This is the second part of Sir Bobby Charlton's fascinating autobiography. In the first, "My Manchester United Years", he provided a lot of moving personal insight into, for example, his trauma post-Munich air disaster, how the club dealt with the other surviving players and their families, and his, at times, difficult relationship with his mother and brother. In other words it was a personally revealing book. This second part, by comparison, is in many ways more typical of a footballer's autobiography, focusing on match details and brief, albeit personal, pen pictures of the characters involved. For regular consumers of books covering this era of football there is little new or surprising here.

Despite this, the book is well-written, thoughful and informative. Here this great footballer leaves aside the pain and angst of Munich and transmits something of the sheer quality and competitiveness of football at the highest level. His convictions about teamwork are clear and here you feel is where he was most comfortable, immersed in what he did best alongside others of the same kind, where the only questions were how to play and how to win.

Finally, there are some striking glances into just how accessible top footballers used to be. For example, this most famous of Englishmen popped out to do some shopping on the morning of playing in the World Cup Final, in the capital city of his own country. I can vouch for this as I once wandered up his front drive, after he was a World and European Cup winner, and while he was hoovering the inside of his car I had a chat and obtained an autograph. For anyone who grew up watching Sir Bobby and remembers the era when he was simply the best English player alive then this book is a must-buy complement to volume one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ambassador for football, 28 Aug. 2009
Another great read from Bobby Charlton, what a gentleman and true professional. Interesting to get behind the facts into the life of a truly nice person who never changed no matter what success he obtained, unlike many other overblown, overated, big heads within the football world.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting from a neutral's point of view, 3 Oct. 2010
I was 8 years old when England won the World Cup and it is my life long dream to see them do it one more time before I shuttle off this earth! As a history of the England era of my youth this was an intersting read. I would not say it kept me riveted but I enjoyed and it brought back the memories of all those players I would watch in my youth. Yes there are constant references to the Munich Air Disaster but it was obviously a significant event in his life...maybe a touch of the 'Why did I survive?' in there. I would recommend this to another football lover, but not to someone who didn't have an interest in the sport. A solid 3 stars.
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3.0 out of 5 stars My England Years - Bobby Charlton, 2 Mar. 2009
By 
Fordyce Maxwell (Berwick on Tweed) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This England years autobiography, ghosted by James Lawton, is more revealing, and better written, than most football books. But it is not as good as its prequel, The Manchester United Years, and there are careless mistakes - Brian Clough's career-ending injury was at Roker Park, and Charlton's England career lasted 12 years, not 22. Minor, but irritating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 12 Nov. 2014
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Bought it used. Arrived in very good condition. There was a few minor tears to the dust cover but that's to be expected when paying £2 for it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 20 Nov. 2013
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My husband really enjoyed this book. Good read & a must for any football fan. Well written & a good book.
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My England Years: The Autobiography
My England Years: The Autobiography by Bobby Charlton (Audio CD - 14 April 2011)
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